Sept. 7, 2023

Media availability with Gov. Hobbs and University of Arizona President Robbins on New Frontiers of Sound Science and Technology Center

  • What: Gov. Katie Hobbs and University of Arizona President Robert C. Robbins will discuss the university's New Frontiers of Sound, a National Science Foundation Science and Technology Center funded by a five-year, $30 million grant from the NSF. They will be joined by center leadership.
  • When: Thursday, Sept. 7, 9:30 a.m. (PT)
  • Where: On Zoom. Media who wish to ask questions via Zoom must RSVP to Nick Prevenas at by Thursday, Sept. 7, 8 a.m. (PT) to receive the link.
  • Online public broadcast: The event will be streamed live on the UArizona YouTube page.
  • Electronic press kit:

TUCSON, Ariz. – Topological acoustics is a new way of looking at sound that allows researchers to see and manipulate attributes of sound that aren't visible in traditional acoustics. This precise level of control could vastly improve computing, telecommunications and sensing. Applications could include quantum-like computing speeds, reduced power usage of smartphones, and the ability to sense changes in aging infrastructure or the natural environment due to climate change.

The NSF has granted the University of Arizona $30 million over five years to establish a new NSF Science and Technology Center. The New Frontiers of Sound STC, which comes with an additional $30 million option over the following five years, will bring together researchers working in topological acoustics. The center will also provide training and education across multiple disciplines and backgrounds, building a common language around this field of science that represents the diverse needs of the world.

Gov. Katie Hobbs and UArizona President Robert C. Robbins will join leaders from the New Frontiers of Sound STC to talk about the new center during a Sept. 7 media availability. Additional speakers include:

Media who wish to ask questions via Zoom must RSVP with name, outlet and email address to Nick Prevenas at by 8 a.m. (PT) on Thursday, Sept. 7, to receive a Zoom invitation.

The event also will be streamed live on the University of Arizona YouTube page.

"Topological acoustics exploits attributes of sound waves that have remained hidden so far," said Deymier, who has been with the Department of Materials Science and Engineering in the College of Engineering for more than 38 years and is also a member of the university's BIO5 Institute and a professor in the Applied Mathematics Graduate Interdisciplinary Program. "It harnesses the full power of acoustic waves. That suddenly enables extraordinary properties of sound – such as sound waves that mimic quantum waves or that can hit a hard surface without generating an echo – that can affect a huge number of technologies."

Topological acoustics is essentially supercharging the field of acoustics and allowing researchers to see information they couldn't see before – like putting on a new pair of glasses. Or, better yet, a new pair of hearing aids.

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Media contact:
Katy Smith
College of Engineering

The University of Arizona, a land-grant university with two independently accredited medical schools, is one of the nation's top 50 public universities, according to U.S. News & World Report. Established in 1885, the university is widely recognized as a student-centric university and has been designated as a Hispanic Serving Institution by the U.S. Department of Education. The university ranked in the top 20 in 2021 in research expenditures among all public universities, according to the National Science Foundation, and is a leading Research 1 institution with $824 million in annual research expenditures. The university advances the frontiers of interdisciplinary scholarship and entrepreneurial partnerships as a member of the Association of American Universities, the 71 leading public and private research universities in the U.S. and Canada. It benefits the state with an estimated economic impact of $4.1 billion annually.